Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
Reading these two scriptures with no understanding would make them seem calloused and unloving. We know since “God is love” this form of thinking would be in error. Let us not think with carnality, the thinking of this world, but let us put on the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ is found in the Bible, The Word of God. It is necessary to leave our feelings and ideologies out of things and believe only the Bible.
Most anyone knows the definition of a “bastard”. Awwwww I know, a cuss word…. Don’t tell me, tell God about it being in there. This word simply means a child born out of wedlock. A child born not in the confines of a legitimate marriage. The Jewish beliefs went as far as to say that if a marriage was not proper before God, adultery, a child born to such ones was illegitimate. Some believe that if a child is born after the marriage nuptials but not far enough away that conception was obviously beforehand, the child is illegitimate. Some believe that if a child is considered illegitimate and the father marries the mother it then legitimizes the child. Children bred from incest are to some considered illegitimate. Another Jewish belief is that if a Jewish father/mother has a child with a heathen, someone who wasn’t Jewish, the child is illegitimate even if it was a rightful marriage. Some say that even being a foreigner deems you worthy of this title. If a man had a child by a slave woman or concubine, this child was deemed bastardy in some parts of the world.
For the sake of this article, I would like to use another definition: “Lacking in genuineness; spurious; false; adulterate; applied to things which resemble those which are genuine, but are really not so.” We know from Ezekiel 18:20 that it is the one who sins that will die. We could not then think that because of the sin of a child’s parents that the child would be automatically excluded from being in the congregation of the Lord. This is ridiculous thinking and any Christian could easily avoid it by deeper study.
We can gather that since God will not hold a parent’s sin against a child, it must be an inward thing not a physical. Now in this dispensation, since the first coming of Christ, things moved from physical to spiritual.
The Hebrew word for congregation in the Deuteronomy reference is “qâhâl”. One accepted definition is “an organized body” and one of the Greek equivalents is “ekklēsía”. Ekklēsía is what we know in English as the word church.
If we put the thoughts we have so far together we can understand that God does not allow those who are illegitimate Christians to be entreated as a son or part of the organized body of people. Those who claim to be genuine and resemble it but they are not will not enter. They claim to be Jews but are of the synagogue of satan, they will not enter. They adulterate the pureness of the Christian experience, these are they who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.
If God corrects you and you feel conviction in your soul to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord, which every Christian should, then you are sons. If because of your impure supposed Christian birth you never feel any conviction, you are bastards, illegitimate children. Your father must be the devil, and your mother a bondwoman. God does not have illegitimate children so this is the only conclusion we are left with. The devil will not correct you or make sure you are on one path or another. The devil does not care if you are on a supposed Christian pathway as long as you do not hasten to obey the chastening of God like a son. The devil is very much content with you being born but illegitimately.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
It in unfeasible to explain the errancy of predestination in a short span so I will leave that to the apologists or someone who’s topic it is to defeat it. But but but…. The Bible says…. The Bible says For God so loved the world…. I say if election does exist, it is that the whole world was elected by God to have a chance. We would say that God is Love, which we must because its Bible, but we would say that he dooms some to hell without chance? He lets some in to heaven without repentance? If God almighty has chosen before our fates then there would be no need of repentance. I would then believe God mighty powerful enough to bring me to glory without the prerequisites that have been taught so often in times past.
I regress, there is predestination in this sense: God since times eternal has in infinite knowledge and wisdom knew that He would allow the gentiles in the flesh a chance to become an inward Jew and obtain the promise that came with it. The promises were not to the gentiles. The gentiles were not the people of God but now because of God’s eternal foreknowledge, a people that were not His people are. He predestinated the gentiles in general, people who are not Jews in the flesh, to be made heirs. Instead of the natural circumcision that was required under the law, God made it possible that circumcision of the heart would suffice. This is what was predestinated. I know some people who read this may take the doctrine of predestination and preach it as an election of people out of people. There is verse 6 which says we are accepted in the beloved… The gentiles being accepted in as inward Jews? Inward Jews being accepted in a priesthood? Inward Jews congregating in their beloved land, the church of God? I’ll leave this for you to decide in your own minds as I would digress if I delved into this topic right now.
Back to the point of these scriptures… God adopts us. If we were illegitimate children, I would not doubt that God’s adoption process is solid enough to convert us to sons. We will take His name, the name of God. This is what happens in adoption, the adopted takes the adopters name. How if in salvation we become fellow heirs with Christ do we then not receive the name of God? How if Christ says that whosoever doeth the will of the Father in heaven is his brother do we then not receive the name of God?
There was once a bondwoman and there was once a free. There was a child born of the bond, an illegitimate child, and a child born of promise, a son. We know this as the event of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac and Ishmael. (Genesis 16,17). In Galatians 4:21-31 the writer reiterates this Bible event. To think, the bondwoman son was even circumcised… What would you make of that? We of course do not want under the law because under those bonds we are desolate. Christ fulfilled the law and in him lies the fullness. This is the free woman’s children, those born of the seed of God.
We are all born illegitimate and estranged from the womb because of the fall of Adam. Through the process of Christ’s work on the cross God enabled us filthy sinners (gentiles) to be adopted as sons and take part of the promise, promised to the Jews. This sounds nice but we must understand that to be a son of God we must endure chastening.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
I will try not to linger long or drag out the topic but it seems to me beneficial to give one more example to further solidify these certain doctrinal aspects.
Fathers in the flesh chasten children after the manner that they feel or deem appropriate. They raise them up to act and believe the way that they feel is right. God’s chastening not only teaches us the absolutely right way to live but we know that it is for our profit. The Chastening of God enables us to be partakers of His holiness. We see in a later verse that without holiness we shall not see the Lord. Pretty important then it would seem to accept the chastening as a son instead of being illegitimate and not accepting it.
Esau would have normally been the appropriate heir of Isaac since he was the oldest. They were twins but in those days oldest was oldest even if it was by mere minutes. Esau gave up his birthright for a piece of meat and lost the inheritance. With God as our father, what would you give up your inheritance for? What sin is worth giving up the promises of God for? Esau become illegitimate when he sold his birthright. It would be reckoned that if we give up our birthright (being born again, saved) we forfeit son-ship and become illegitimate as well. So much for predestination huh?
If you take anything away from this, with every ounce of your being, every fiber of your Christian existence….Understand that it is of the upmost importance to endure chastening. Chastening is simply: “To purify from errors or faults; to refine.” We have seen that the chastening of God is for our profit. It allows us to be partakers of His holiness and without holiness we shall not see the Lord. Endure the Chastening of God. As many as God loves he chastens…. Endure Chastening.
The most important thing:
If you don’t know Jesus and want to here’s what to do…
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
And you know it works because…
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.